Okanagan Researcher, Vol. 17 (3), March 2001 A Bunch of Roses

Georgie Brown, K131

I really don’t know what possessed me to go into the chat room the other night. I guess I was just messing around dumping pages and programs that I don’t use anymore, a kind of ‘almost-but-not-quite’ reformatting. In any event, having a browser up, I typed in the addy and popped in for a quick peek at genforum.genealogy.com.

The minute the page loaded, I remembered why I didn’t go there anymore: you can’t save anything; nothing is archived so you better be armed to the teeth with pen & paper and have the ability to read quickly as the chat screen is not very big, and be able to type fast too.

Well, I was there, and read the greetings from those that were also there, then thought I had better type in my names, wait the customary few minutes, and then leave. So I typed ROSE, MARKLAND, FOWLER, MELICK, and RULOFSON.

I was less than 60 seconds into my stay when one of the persons there piped up and asked me, ‘Where are you looking for your ROSES?’ I replied, ‘In the Picton, Ontario area of Canada.’ (Remembering that most of the genealogy chat rooms were US dominated, I tacked on the “Canada” part thinking I was being about as specific as I could possibly get.) To my surprise this person replied back to me, ‘I am sitting in the middle of Picton Ontario now, and am reaching for the phone book as we speak.’ My mouth dropped. And I typed the only thing I could think of, ‘Oh My’. Within a few more seconds, she replied to me, ‘there are 11 ROSES and 14 MARKLANDS in my phone book.’

Needless to say I was overjoyed, and still in a tad bit of shock at this hit as all the times I came to this gen chat before, I had never even come close to finding a link to me. Within 5 minutes of my arrival, I had found a very nice lady who offered to do some ‘hands on’ checking for me. We exchanged email addys and I went off to bed not knowing I was to get an even greater surprise the next day.

The following day began like most, doing this n’ that, and finally wandering to the computer in the mid afternoon. My email came up and again I was aghast as I read the subject line from the lady I had spoken to the night before: FOUND YOUR ROSE FAMILY BIBLE. She went on to say that she called the first Rose in the book, and as it turns out it was to be a hit. She was my second cousin, her Grandfather and mine being brothers. My gen chat friend had had a very long chat with my new cousin, and she passed along her phone number for me to call, but I was to respond to that email immediately so she call her back with a time that I would call. To say my fingers never moved so fast is an understatement.

Later that evening, I phoned my newfound cousin and we chatted for a couple of hours. I was able to tell her about my grandfather taking my father back to Picton in 1936. He hadn’t been there since 1888, so it was time he went was his reasoning. When he stepped off the train, he was looking a tad lost, and a gentleman came toward him and asked if he was looking for somebody. My grandfather told him that he was looking for his brother, Charles. The gentleman replied that Charles was ‘his’ brother too, and thus the two, Robert Wesley, and John Herman were face to face once again after 38 years. The only pictures I had of that trip were some of the two brothers, Robert and John standing at their mothers Grave with one of their sisters. Audrey, my new cousin did not have those pictures, in fact she did not know what my grandfather looked like. As it turned out, I had many pictures to share with her. I also related to her the information I had of my grandfathers brothers and sisters was a certified copy from the Rose Family Bible, taken by one of his brothers to a notary so my Grandfather could collect his pension. Audrey then told me that there was one page in the Bible that had been torn out, and then taped back in. It turned out to be the very page that was copied and notarized.

Our call ended on a very positive note and we have corresponded and talked since that first day. She also sent me a hand written transcription of every single entry in that Bible.

Reveling in the joy and excitement of my success, I once again caressed my computer gave thanks to that great cyber genie. How quickly I was humbled when I learned that my new Cousin didn’t have a computer.